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Originally published March 14, 2014 at 7:40 PM | Page modified March 14, 2014 at 11:01 PM

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Denny Hamlin wins pole for NASCAR race

Denny Hamlin won the pole for Sunday’s Food City 500, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., and Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw were among the top 10 qualifiers.


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Auto racing

Hamlin leads qualifiers for event in Bristol

Denny Hamlin won the pole for Sunday’s Food City 500, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee.

Hamlin set a record at the 0.533-mile track Friday with a lap at 129.991 mph to earn the top starting spot. It surpassed the mark of 129.535 set by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch a year ago.

Brad Keselowski qualified in second at 129.965, and Matt Kenseth was third at 129.073.

Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., will start in eighth, and Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw will start in 10th of 43.

Track and field

Pistorius is shown on bloodied prosthetics

Displaying photographs of a bare-chested Oscar Pistorius standing in his garage on bloodied prosthetic legs and wearing shorts soaked in his girlfriend’s blood, prosecutors attempted to focus attention on the killing for which the double-amputee Olympian is on trial for murder, while the defense tried to poke holes in the police investigation.

The photos were taken in Pistorius’ Pretoria, South Africa, home by police soon after he shot Reeva Steenkamp before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013.

Pistorius was seen from the front in the first photo shown in court, his chest clean of blood while he stood on limbs stained up to the knees.

The prosecution contends Pistorius, 27, killed Steenkamp, 29, intentionally after a loud argument.

The athlete maintains he shot her with his licensed 9 mm pistol by mistake, thinking she was an intruder in his bathroom.

Tennis

Pennetta defeats Li

Top-seeded Li Na of China was defeated 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 by No. 20 Flavia Pennetta of Italy in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.

Li won this year’s Australian Open.

Pennetta advanced to Sunday’s final against No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.

Radwanska beat sixth-seeded Simona Halep of Romania 6-3, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

For the first time in four years, Novak Djokovic of Serbia is without a big title early in the year.

Or any title.

Djokovic is used to arriving at Indian Wells with the Australian Open in his back pocket, having won the season’s first Grand Slam event three straight years. He lost in the quarterfinals in Melbourne in January, and then lost in the semifinals in Dubai.

Thus the second-seeded Djokovic is especially eager to hoist the trophy in Indian Wells, where he is a two-time champion. He took a step toward that goal with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over unseeded Julien Benneteau of France in the quarterfinals.

Djokovic will face 12th-seeded John Isner, the lone remaining American in the tournament, in the semifinals.

Isner beat No. 20 Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-3).

Soccer

Anelka to leave team

Striker Nicolas Anelka says he is leaving English Premier League team West Bromwich Albion immediately after being suspended for five matches for a goal celebration regarded as anti-Semitic.

Anelka said on his Twitter account he decided to leave the team after being offered “to rejoin the group under certain conditions I can’t accept.” He was suspended by England’s Football Association.

Anelka performed the gesture as he celebrated scoring in West Brom’s 3-3 draw with West Ham. The gesture involves pointing one straightened arm downward while touching the shoulder with the opposite hand. It was popularized by French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who has been convicted of inciting racial hatred and anti-Semitism.

Anelka caused a different controversy with the French national team, when he was sent home from the 2010 World Cup after insulting then-coach Raymond Domenech in the dressing room.

Anelka refused to apologize and ended his international career in the wake of the scandal with 14 goals in 69 appearances.

ELSEWHERE

• The Ukrainian city of Lviv was among five contenders that submitted applicant files to the International Olympic Committee to host the 2022 Winter Games.

With Ukraine engulfed in political crisis and its strategic Crimean peninsula under Russian control, it is unclear whether Lviv will be able to keep pursuing its Olympic campaign.

Competing with Lviv for the Olympics are Beijing; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Krakow, Poland; and Oslo, Norway.

The IOC executive board will decide which cities go through to the final phase at a meeting that ends July 9 in Lausanne, Switzerland. The full IOC will select the host city July 31, 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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